Emmy and Tony award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth is the star of the 2016 VIVA Health Starlight Gala, the biggest fundraiser of the year for the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center.
Chenoweth has effortlessly transitioned between stage, television and film throughout the past decade, and now brings her beautiful voice and electric personality to the ASC. Set for Sunday, June 12, Chenoweth will perform her best-known songs and Broadway tunes, with music from her latest album “Coming Home” alongside a 12-piece ensemble.
The VIVA Health Starlight Gala is Birmingham’s crown jewel of performing arts events, and 2016 kicks off the Alys Stephens Center’s 20th anniversary season. This annual, elegant engagement benefits the ASC’s programs and education initiatives and ensures a commitment to provide the community with the very best in arts entertainment.
Tickets are $150 and include a pre-performance cocktail reception at 5 p.m., followed by the performance at 6 p.m., in the center, 1200 10th Ave. South. For gala tickets, call the ASC Box Office at 205-975-2787. Visit www.AlysStephens.org for more details.
A VIP dinner and meet-and-greet package is also available; call the ASC Development Office at 205-975-4012 to purchase. Betty McMahon is the 2016 honorary gala chair.
Chenoweth is known and loved by young and old for her immense wealth of roles on stage and screen, from comedy and drama to family entertainment. She was honored with an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on the ABC series “Pushing Daisies” and lit up the stage of McKinley High as a former student who returned to town on Fox’s hit comedy “Glee.” In her “Glee” role as the school’s quirky ex-songstress, April Rhodes, she was nominated for two Emmy Awards and a People’s Choice Award in the Favorite TV Guest Star category.
Chenoweth may be best known by Broadway lovers everywhere for her origination of the role of Glinda the Good Witch in “Wicked.” That role earned her a Tony Award nomination; but she won a Tony Award for her performance in “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.” In July, she received a coveted star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame for her live performances.
Chenoweth recently made her return to Broadway, playing the glamorous film star Lily Garland in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s “On the Twentieth Century.” In addition to receiving rave reviews, her role in that production earned her awards including Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Broadway.com Audience Choice. She has also earned nominations for Tony Awards in the category Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical and a Drama League Award. In July 2015, Chenoweth was seen in the Disney Channel’s live-action original movie “Descendants,” in which she played the classic “Sleeping Beauty” villain Maleficent. Disney’s “Descendants” became the No. 5 cable TV movie in history with 12.2 million viewers in its premiere and released a hit soundtrack, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and peaked at No. 1 on the iTunes album chart.
In May 2014, Chenoweth returned to famed Carnegie Hall, where she first held a solo concert in 2004. On stage, she performed songs from her album “Some Lessons Learned,”as well as her most memorable songs from “Wicked,” “Promises Promises” and “Glee.” She performed “An Evening With …” show at London’s Royal Albert Hall, for which she received a record-breaking standing ovation. Chenoweth was featured in the “Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of Our National Anthem,” a concert special honoring the 200th anniversary of the national anthem in Baltimore, Maryland, televised live on PBS as part of the network’s “Great Performances”series.
The same year, Chenoweth hosted the PBS Arts Fall Festival, which featured classic Broadway hits and music from around the country. The festival included her own concert performance, “Kristin Chenoweth: Coming Home,” where she performed a career-spanning concert in her hometown of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The concert was released as a live CD and DVD, and aired as a PBS television special Thanksgiving weekend of 2014.
A veteran of the concert stage, Chenoweth has performed to sold-out crowds in concert halls across the globe. In 2013, she made her Australian national touring debut, headlining the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and performing at the famed Sydney Opera House. She made national headlines with her stunning renditions of Hollywood’s most beloved songs from classic films, when she performed at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She was also inducted into the Hollywood Bowl’s Hall of Fame. In 2013, Chenoweth performed at The Allen Room in New York’s acclaimed Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, with her show “Kristin Chenoweth: The Dames of Broadway … All of ‘Em!!!” which aired on PBS.
Her concert highlights include her Los Angeles solo debut at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, a solo concert at The Metropolitan Opera House — as the third theater star ever to present a solo concert at the Met — as well as an evening at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles; the Washington National Opera’s 50th Anniversary Gala with Placido Domingo; a solo concert at Sam Mendes’ acclaimed Donmar Warehouse, as part of the “Divas at Donmar” series; and collaborations with renowned symphonies, including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Pops, National Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony.
In addition to her starring roles on stage and screen, in 2009 Chenoweth also wrote an upliftingly candid, comedic chronicle of her life so far, “A Little Bit Wicked,” which was released by Simon & Schuster, and debuted on The New York Times Hardcover Non-Fiction Best Seller List.